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Bitten by a tick and advised to take doxsyscline. Does it cause any side effects?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 1542 Questions
I was bite by a tick the test showed positive and false dr. Said that I don't have lames disease not to worry....but gave me 7. Days of doxsyscline. Are there any side affects.....the tick. Was behind my ear and I had a hard time pulling it off I thought it was a scab. Until I got it off....
Posted Fri, 15 Nov 2013 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Vaishalee Punj 2 hours later
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Detailed Answer:

Thanks for posting your query on XXXXXXX

The tick that transmits Lyme disease is very small, sometimes the tick bite goes unnoticed. It manifests as a characteristic rash in 5 - 14 days. The tick should be attached to the skin for atleast 24 hours to transmit the infection.

Yours is a unique case. There are no symptoms. Most probably the tick came off within one hour. But the test is positive. I am not sure which test you have gotten done. Usually the initial test is serology or Elisa. It can always be confirmed with more tests (to rule out false positive) or repeat testing with the same test. Since one reason for positive test can be a latent past infection that went unnoticed. Thus it is a hard call whether to give antibiotics or not. Maybe confirm the presence of infection before taking antibiotics.

Tests should be done after getting the symptoms to avoid raising false alarms.

Mostly just one dose of doxycycline can be taken within 72 hours of bite as a precaution.

Now coming to your specific question:

Side effects of doxycycline are: gastrointestinal disturbances (diarrhea, etc), may worsen liver disease, photosensitization (rash because of sensitization to sunlight), maybe dizziness and nausea, superinfection with other germs, may worsen kidney disease, etc.

The dose can be adjusted for your age and maybe taken once a day. Check with your doctor if just a single dose will suffice for you.

Let me know if I can assist you further.

Dr Vaishalee
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